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Margarine or butter? Both provide that delicate, velvety smoothness that makes them so perfect to pair with something as simple as a slice of bread. Spreading a dab of this glorious butteriness to amplify your morning breakfast. Many of us keep both butter and margarine in our pantries, alternating between them whenever we fancy. Though it isn’t unknown for many of us to reach for the butter when it’s time to bake a lovely batch of cookies.

But can you use margarine instead? The answer is yes of course! Though if you’re wondering what is the best margarine for baking, then you’re in for a treat because in this article we’re going to take a look at some of the top brands!

So What’s the Difference Between Margarine and Butter?

The obvious similarities lie in their complexion, bright yellow, and spreadable softness. Though margarine and butter are made from different ingredients, which can often be used alternately in the kitchen. Butter is made from heavy cream, containing higher levels of saturated fat, which can deteriorate one’s health if consumed too often or in large quantities. Whereas, margarine is made from vegetable oils, and contains unsaturated fats. Margarine is usually vegan unless it’s labeled otherwise.

Can You Use Margarine Instead of Butter When Baking?

If you’re looking for a butter substitute, consider using margarine instead of butter in baking. Margarine has a similar taste and texture to butter when spread on toast or pancakes, but both products differ greatly when used in baking recipes. While both margarine and butter can be used interchangeably when cooking, there are some important differences that should be taken into consideration when substituting one product for another.

For instance, butter is made from cultured cream which gives it its distinctive flavour, while most kinds of margarine contain vegetable oil. The main difference between these two ingredients is that margarine tends to be lower in saturated fats than butter and higher in water content. This difference makes it easier for cookies – which rely on the structure created by hardened fat – to spread more during baking if softened margarine is substituted

Baked goods like pie crusts or laminated doughs may turn out differently if softened margarine is substituted because they require cold hard fats like butter or lard instead of soft ones like shortening; this will result in an undesirable texture. These types of recipes usually require solidified fats like butter, rather than liquid ones found within margarine.

What’s the Best Margarine for Baking Cookies?

For baking cookies, tub margarine is the best option. It contains fewer calories and is healthier than other types of margarine. You can also use butter margarine in baking cookies if you let it chill beforehand. This will make it toughen up so that it can hold its shape while being formed into cookie shapes by hand or with a cookie press.

Best margarine for baking

Best Margarine Brands for Baking

When it comes to baking, it’s pretty important to use the best margarine you can find. Try and opt for the sticks instead of tubs of margarine; sticks will have a higher fat content than the tubs. This means that when you’re using it in your recipes, the end result will be moister and flavourful than if you were using butter. Here are some top brands of margarine that can be used in your baking:

  • Fleischmann’s Unsalted Margarine Sticks
  • Imperial Margarine Sticks
  • Land O’ Lakes Margarine Sticks
  • Blue Bonnet
  • I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Baking Sticks
  • Country Crock Vegetable Oil Sticks
  • Parkay Vegetable Oil Sticks
  • Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (Vegan)

Fleischmann’s Unsalted Margarine Sticks

Fleischmann’s Unsalted Margarine Sticks contain the same amount of water as traditional butter, so it is a good choice for baking and cooking. Traditional margarine brands typically have more water content than butter, which means they tend to produce fluffier cookies. However, Fleischmann’s unsalted margarine sticks contain the same amount of fat as butter, making them an ideal choice when whipping up batches of cookies.

Fleischmann solid margarine stick, 1 pound -- 18 per case.

Imperial Margarine Sticks

Since the late 1950s, the Imperial brand has been producing margarine sticks for all-purpose use in the kitchen. It is most popularly used in chocolate chip cookies and other baked goods, but it can be used to sauté veggies or cook up a batch of quesadillas too.

Land O’ Lakes Margarine Sticks

Land O Lakes Margarine Sticks have long been considered an excellent choice for baking anything from cookies to muffins to cornbread. It’s made without artificial preservatives, colours, or flavours and contains no trans fats. The stick form makes it easy to use in recipes where you don’t want the container touching food.

Blue Bonnet

Blue Bonnet has been popular among those wanting to add margarine to their dishes. While Blue Bonnet has a lower fat content compared to the other brands you can still use it in some baking recipes. Depending on what type of cookie is being baked and how thinly you want them sliced.

Conagra blue bonnet solid margarine stick, 1 pound -- 30 per case.

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Baking Sticks

Some brands like I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter are switching to other plant-based oils like soybean or canola, which is a slightly better alternative to vegetable oil.

Country Crock Vegetable Oil Sticks

Country Crock Vegetable Oil Sticks are made with 60% vegetable oil, no high fructose corn syrup, and few ingredients. They’re also a great option for baking because they don’t melt easily and the flavour is similar to butter.

Parkay Vegetable Oil Sticks

Another great option for baking is Parkay Vegetable Oil Sticks. This brand has been around for years and is most likely the oldest product on the list. Throughout its long history, it has held up to producing some tasty baked goods. If you’re looking for an unsalted margarine stick that’s easy to find at grocery stores, this is it!

Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (Vegan)

If you’re looking for a vegan alternative to butter, Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (Vegan) is a good choice. This brand offers many different flavours that can be used in baking and cooking as a substitute for other oils and fats.

Earth balance vegan, lactose free, non-dairy, gluten free, no msg, non-gmo buttery sticks 16 ounce (pack of 6)

Is it Better to Use Margarine Instead of Butter When Baking?

Margarine is often thought of as a substitute for butter, but it’s not as good. Margarine can have more water and less fat when compared to regular butter, which means that baked goods made with margarine will have a different texture. The high-fat content in real butter provides not only richer flavour but also helps to give baked goods their texture. If you want to use margarine instead of butter when baking, make sure you choose one that has 80% or more fat.

Bottom Line

So, what’s the best margarine for baking? It all depends on your baking needs. Butter provides your baked goods with better flavour, and can be used in more recipes than margarine. However, margarine can do the same, if chosen wisely. Depending on the texture you desire from your baked goods, margarine can be used as a substitute if you want to avoid dairy or are watching your fat intake.

FAQs

Which Margarine is Best for Baking?

When baking, butter margarine is the best alternative, with its high-fat content making it an excellent choice for muffins and cornbread, and lower fat content making it great for baking cookies.

Which Margarine is Best for Cakes?

Old-fashioned ingredients like Stork margarine work better in cakes than butter, as you’ll find yourself getting a better rise on the cakes when Stork is used.

Which Butter or Margarine is Best for Baking?

Unsalted butter is best for baking, as well as butter margarine, for those who wish to use margarine instead of butter, this margarine will provide your baked goods with that delightfully moist texture.

Can I Use Margarine Instead of Butter for Baking?

Margarine is the most commonly used substitute for baking cookies, cakes, donuts, and can be used in the equal amount of butter your recipe calls for.